Monday, April 23, 2012

Ramen House 大街小廚


I want to start off by saying that I was pleasantly surprised to find decent Chinese food in such an unexpected place. When I saw the name Ramen House and browsed through the extensive menu of dishes from various regions all over China (but no sign of ramen), I wasn't sure what to make of this seemingly confused restaurant. If you walked in with the hopes of finding a satisfying bowl of authentic ramen, you would most likely be disappointed.


The ambiance was a lot nicer than I had anticipated. The clean and brightly lit room with classical music playing softly in the background offered a very relaxing and soothing dining environment. The sense of tranquility and quietness kind of reminded me of Panz Veggie. The place was quite empty for a Sunday afternoon, but it started filling up as people came in for dinner.


We decided to stick with mostly dim sum options for an early dinner. Having something hot and spicy to whet the appetite is always good, so we ordered spicy wontons (紅油抄手) ($5.99) as a starter. It wasn't very authentic, but it was still good and really hit the spot with its intense savouriness.


The juicy pork dumplings (小籠湯包) ($5.99) were indeed very juicy! In fact, I don't think I've ever had XLB with so much soup inside. The skin wasn't as thin as it should have been, but at least that kept the dumplings from bursting. Wouldn't want to waste all that soup!!


The steamed bun (蒸銀絲卷) ($2.99) was a good side dish to enjoy plain with congee or dipped in condensed milk. The waitress seemed to have forgotten our condensed milk, but quickly brought a small dish over when I reminded her. The texture of the bun was quite good — soft and slightly bouncy with distinguishable threads inside.


The sliced fish congee (魚片粥) ($6.99) was very interesting. The consistency was similar to that of soy milk. It was incredibly smooth and "cottony" (as the Chinese describe it) with almost no visible grains of rice. Drinking it was like drinking a very thick and creamy smoothie.


The red bean cake (紅豆酥餅) ($5.99) served as a nice dessert, but I found it a bit expensive at $2 apiece. The pastry itself was very flaky and fluffy with a subtly sweet red bean paste inside to complement it.


The lamb skewer (羊肉串) ($2.99) was very tender and moist, yet slightly chewy at the same time. The spices were strong but not overpowering, and they brought out the flavour of the meat beautifully. It was also a pretty big skewer for the price, compared to the tiny skewers I had at U-Enjoy.


If this restaurant were located in Richmond, it would easily become my go-to place for Shanghainese dim sum. Forget the overpriced dishes and rude service at Dinesty. Forget the loud chatter and clatter (and equally horrible service) at Shanghai River. Considering the reasonable prices and relaxing ambiance, I'd much rather dine here than at the above mentioned restaurants.

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2 comments:

Janice on April 23, 2012 1:54 pm said...

what!! Dinesty is pretty cheap imo compared to Shanghai River / Shanghai Wonderful / Northern Delicacy. Service is meh since it's quite busy, but still quite reasonable for it's price.

I'll def try this place out one day when I'm in that area though.

krispymilk on April 23, 2012 2:10 pm said...

@Janice: I used a deal voucher for this meal, but I would go back even at regular price. Dinesty's prices seem pretty cheap at first glance, but their portion sizes are TINY! Last time I went, the buns and pastries shrunk to 2/3 the original size (which was already small).

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